Helmut Schmidt: Soon A Prisoner of Conscience?

Note to foreign reporters looking for a German human-interest story: former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, now in his late 80s and a chain-smoker for years, has been swanning about Germany (g) smoking in public places and trains, in defiance of new smoking bans.

It seems to be some sort of Crusade of Principle against Germany’s new anti-smoking regulations, although Schmidt’s defense boils down to "I’m really old and was a fine Chancellor and I like to smoke, so fuck the law."  And speaking of European deference to bigwigs, I should note that others share his view.  The Director of the Hamburg Thalia theater, who personally decided to let Schmidt defy the smoking ban in the theater’s cafe, justified himself as follows (g) (my translation):

Director Ludwig von Otting commented thus: "Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi", which he freely translated as follows: "What we let Helmut Schmidt do, we wouldn’t let the cattle (jedem Rindvieh) do."

2 thoughts on “Helmut Schmidt: Soon A Prisoner of Conscience?

  1. Unfortunately, there is a recent trend among the political class in this country to outlaw two things before thinking once, just to not enforce their own legislation afterwards.

    Soon we’ll be all criminal offenders for just existing … theoretically. Because the government in its limitless wisdom will forgive us that sin.

    Here, “we” does not include the unwashed, the foreigners, the political activists, and otherwise suspicious individuals of course.

  2. Schmidt zeigt Reue

    Altkanzler Helmut Schmidt hat seinen Fehler, im Hamburger Thalia Theater geraucht zu haben, eingesehen. Das Rauchen will er aber nicht aufgeben.

    SPD-Altkanzler Helmut Schmidt hat nach seinem unerlaubten Zigarettengenuss im Hamburger Thalia Theater Selbstkritik geübt.

    Er wolle sich das Rauchen zwar nicht verbieten lassen, aber “dem Gesetz muss man gehorchen”, sagte er der Zeit.


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